Writer-director Victor Levin’s two-hander relies on the charisma of its protagonists. Destination Wedding works rather well for the most part.
Lindsay is reluctantly attending a destination wedding. She gets talking to Frank, who is equally miserable to be there. Together, they attempt to survive the weekend…
Writer and director Victor Levin has created something a little unusual with Destination Wedding. From the premise, viewers would be forgiven for thinking the film is a formulaic romcom. All the elements are here after all, the abrasive initial meeting, throwing the two protagonists together, the wedding, the exotic location. Yet Levin’s film offers something more interesting than this. Concentrating solely on the protagonists, the film is a dialogue-heavy exploration of a burgeoning relationship between two less likely leads.
The film is entirely focused on the two leads, even in scenes where there are plenty of others around. It takes a little while to realise that Destination Wedding is going in this direction. The only audible line by someone else is off camera, and not in English. Instead, the film keeps closely with the protagonists as their relationship develops from aggravation, to truce, to romance.
As expected, the emphasis is on the dialogue. The writing is good overall, with some wry observations. The complaint about destination weddings themselves is right on the nail. Both characters have a misanthropic attitude, which is rather refreshing at first but does get a little tiresome. Overall, it is a positive that the protagonists are less than peppy.
Levin keeps his camera very still, with plenty of lengthy shots. Juxtaposed with the rapid and plentiful conversation, a strong contrast is created. The filmmaker clearly wants the script to tower above other considerations. Winona Ryder delivers a most watchable and convincing performance as Lindsay. Ryder‘s chemistry with Keanu Reeves here is much more persuasive than in their first joint outing Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Reeves gives his usual spiel, yet it works here suitably well.
Destination Wedding should prove the right antidote for those those unimpressed by standard romcoms.
Destination Wedding is available on DVD from 1st July 2019, and on Digital Download now.